I will try to make this as simple and easy to understand as possible . I have five Brahma chickens, about 4-5 months old. They were started on chick starter. Currently, they are fed layer pellets/crumbles in their feeder, a handful of scratch grains, they have oyster shell in the corner, and they are allowed to forage on days when the weather is good. Now, they absolutely hate the layer feed, as do I because it is very processed. They LOVE the scratch grains but I was told it was baaaad to feed them that as the main part of their diet. Even on days they can't go out, and I *don't* give them scratch grains, they will only pick at the layer feed (at best). I really want to figure out a sustainable diet for them that they actually like eating and that isn't overly processed. I live on a farm, so I'd love to be able to grow most of all of it myself. In the spring, summer, and fall they will be able to be let out and forage. We have lots of greens and bugs that they can eat so I think they'll get most of their diet outside. I'd like to have a mostly complete diet available for them in their coop, though, in case they want to peck at it or for days when the weather is bad and they can't go out. I do plan to have the oyster shell available until they start laying eggs, at which point I'd like to try to offer their crushed eggshells instead. In the winter, they will have eggshells available for calcium as-needed, and I plan to grow spinach and another green indoors that I can give to them. However, the base of what will go into their feeder I'd like to be the scratch grains. One, because they love it, and two because it's something that I can eventually grow. Taking greens and calcium out of the equation, I need to know what I need to add to their food to make it complete. I'm thinking (correct me if I'm wrong) that what I am lacking here is protein. So my myriad of questions are: > What would be a good source of protein? Bonus points if I can grow it myself and if it's easy to store during the winter > How much protein do I need to feed and what is the best way to measure that out? > Do I need to feed protein in the months when they are mainly foraging, or can I count on them getting that in the way of bugs? > In terms of growing my own grains, I planned to make my own scratch with corn, wheat, and oats. Are there certain kinds of any of these that are better (or even bad) for chickens? Do I need to grow a certain kind? > What else am I missing here? I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future, but this will get me started. Thanks!